Getting Around, San Sebastian Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(Donostia - San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain)
San Sebastian is a compact city, with a good network of pavements and pedestrianised areas. Walking is often one of the best ways to travel around central San Sebastian, with many top attractions close to each other. However, San Sebastian also offers a range of public transport, which includes bus and coach travel, RENFE trains and the nearby San Sebastian Airport (EAS), the main gateway into this region of Spain.
For those wishing to travel outside of San Sebastian and explore the surrounding areas, renting a car is the preferred method of transport, allowing you to travel around at your own pace.
San Sebastian Airport (EAS) / Arriving by Air
San Sebastian Airport (EAS) can be found around 22 km / 14 miles from the city, close to Hondarribia. The airport operates regular flights and charters, which travel to and from many major European cities, including Madrid
. Airlines at San Sebastian Airport (EAS) include Iberia Air, Ryanair and Spanair. Taxis, buses and other ground transport options can be found at the airport and travel into the heart of San Sebastian.
Car rental transport companies are well represented in San Sebastian and include Avis - along the Calle del Triunfo, Europcar - at the RENFE train station, and Hertz - on the Calle de Zubieta. Many major roads and highways are close to San Sebastian, including the A8 Autopista, which heads in a westerly direction towards Bilbao
, and also easterly to nearby France. Other notable roads include the toll-free N-634, and the A1, which travels in a southerly direction, towards Vitoria and Madrid.
Buses and Coaches
The main bus station in San Sebastian is just a short walk to the south of the Old Quarter (Parte Vieja), being located between the river and the Plaza de Pio XII. A number of local buses travel from the station to central San Sebastian and around the downtown district, providing affordable public transport. Bus schedules are available at most hotels, shops and at the San Sebastian tourist information centre (Centro de Attractión y Turismo), along the Boulevard Reina Regente.
For those looking to travel further afield and outside of the San Sebastian boundaries, long-distance buses and coaches are available at the bus station. Continental Auto buses travel to Madrid daily, with the journey lasting less than six hours. Further buses travel from San Sebastian to Bilbao (one hour), Burgoa (three and a half hours), Pamplona (one hour), Vitoria (one and a half hours), and a number of locations in neighbouring France, to the east of San Sebastian.
San Sebastian's RENFE train station can be found just across the Urumea River, along the Paseo de Francia. Many fast and reasonably priced trains transport passengers to major cities in both Spain and France, including regular trains which travel to Madrid (around six hours), and Barcelona
(eight hours). A direct train from San Sebastian to Paris
is also available, with many other trains crossing the French border, travelling to the nearby town of Hendaye, which can be reached in just over 30 minutes. San Sebastian's ET/FV (Eusko Tren / Ferrocarril Vasco) train lines run in a westerly direction, connecting the city of Bilbao, which can be reached in just less than three hours.
Numerous taxis are available from various taxi ranks in central San Sebastian, and also outside of most large hotels. Taxis in San Sebastian are both efficient and reasonably priced, and can also be hailed directly from the street by simply raising your hand as they pass.